About twenty-five years ago my parents retired and left New York City for a condo in a senior community in New Jersey. The development was brand new and they had their choice of apartments. The one they picked is on the second floor and has a nice balcony that overlooks the golf course. The balcony was the selling point for my mother.
They bought a charcoal grill and some patio chairs, and for quite a few years really enjoyed that balcony. Then they got older. My parents are now in their early nineties. The single step is now an obstacle for them and they seldom have occasion to go outside. The balcony was abandoned. The one remaining patio chair was weatherbeaten and covered with dirt and spider webs.
Then, their live-in caregiver came into the picture. She finds it hard to endure a space that is not filled with life. When I came to visit today, the balcony was swept clean. Flourishing tomato plants and pots of herbs are growing out there. So goes the life cycle of a balcony. Makes me happy.